One response to A process of truth: A reply to Steve Fuller’s essay on the silver anniversary of Social Epistemology, Adam Riggio

  1. 

    Dear Adam Riggio:

    You say: “While the irony of ASE may be farcical, PSE has its tragic irony. Philosophical practices and techniques intended as a critique of dogmatism and deference can be easily co-opted by forces that are far more oppressive in their dogma than orthodox science ever was.”

    You get more specific: “To defend itself from hijacking, PSE must not let itself become too gleeful in its critique of scientific institutions: if a critique is too successful, its object will fall with nothing to replace it. The zealots and robber barons who would prefer an entirely deferential
    population would love to witness the fall of science to its own defenders of good conscience. PSE admirably combats dogmatism inside the sciences, but this is not the most dangerous enemy of free thought. The religious extremists and corporate interests who hold significant political power would destroy the critical and creative aspects of science for their own ends. These forces act against everything about philosophy, science, and knowledge that Fuller and I believe in; they must be fought.”

    Yes! The robber barons might not be religious zealots, but they promote a kind of zealotry that is at least quasi-religious: the ideology of the free market as a “natural” rather than a human construction. This ideology is an instrument of control, and is a major source of both environmental degradation and the increasing levels of economic inequality that increase the probability of violent revolutions. When enough people believe, and feel, that they have nothing to lose by rebelling, it doesn’t take much to trigger a revolution — which will, in our high-tech age, bring about violent repression.

    There are aspects of Humanity 2.0 that inspire hope in the possibility of a good future for humanity. From where I stand, terrible conflicts resulting from the effects of a combination of environmental degradation and political/economic inequality are more probable. That doesn’t mean that I despair. It does mean that I have to know that working for a good human future requires an unrelenting struggle against powerful enemies.

    Best regards,

    Dick Moodey

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s